There is a moment when we become invisible.
It was a few years back and I was walking down the street with my two gorgeous daughters. The passing male traffic did what they usually do with the exception of me. I was blanked. Not in a nasty hurtful way but in an invisible way as if I wasn’t there. I was a person no longer of visual interest. My girls took no notice, just as I once took no notice, this time I did.
I will admit it did throw me for a moment – the loss of a wink, a smile or the occasional wolf whistle – I had come of age. Shocking really! Nobody ever imagines they will become invisible to the opposite sex – partners aside of course. And yes, I am talking in generalizations but undoubtedly when we reach a certain age there is a subtle shift.
You know what? It is the VERY BEST thing to happen to me.
We are so much more visible to ourselves once we reach a certain age. Feeling invisible in public ways has grown my self-confidence and allowed me to be the woman I am. The focus is on the internals and not the externals; yes, I care about how I am perceived by others but it is more for my benefit. Being driven by external perception does not overly enhance confidence but the flip side is we work harder on the more important elements of self -growth.
What do you feel about this? Have you experienced the “invisible” moment?
You see, I don’t really care a great deal about other people’s “winks” anymore – unless those people are important to me. Having a greater focus on health and fitness in both body and mind has freed up with this revelation; it was a “light bulb” moment that told me it’s time to work on myself and become the woman I want to be.
Seeing myself as invisible in the eyes of strangers was a great gift and allowed me to know what was important, what mattered and what I care about. I don’t feel invisible, I feel on fire with the future and the possibilities it brings.
Being invisible to others makes us highly visible to us and this is a feeling we want to catch, hold tight and run with.
Our lives can be about us. It is not selfish in any way; it is where we are. Our dreams and hopes, challenges and expectations can centre on what we want to accomplish and achieve. This is a glorious time in our lives and one to be embraced.
I am grateful for my “cloak” of invisibility and am only too happy to wrap it tightly around me and venture out into the world. xv
images, ali macgraw photographed by pamela hanson for porter magazine